Skip To Main Content

New Analysis Shows Potential Energy Savings of Chicago Neighborhoods

Home energy retrofits like the ones described in the Community Area Profiles can save 2.5 million tons of carbon and $220 million on utility bills each year in Chicago.

CHICAGO – A new analysis from Elevate with the National Renewable Energy Lab shows where energy retrofits can have the biggest impact in Chicago. The analysis produced 20 Community Area Profiles, which focus on common home types that represent nearly 93% of Chicago’s residential buildings in the 20 neighborhoods that have historically seen less investment.  

Across Chicago as a whole, these energy upgrades can achieve over $220 million in annual utility bill savings for Chicago families, and over 2.5 million metric tons of annual carbon savings. 

With high natural gas bills and a national movement away from gas stoves, many people are considering electric alternatives for their home. The analysis shows the energy, cost, and carbon savings that result from an all-electric home for the most common home types that make up Chicago’s residential building stock. On average, homes that electrify are estimated to save 50% energy use or more.  

For Chicagoans who live in classic Chicago-style housing that was built close to a century ago like bungalows, workers cottages, and greystone and red-brick two-flats, this analysis shows that these older homes can still be part of Chicago’s climate movement and remain standing in their neighborhoods.  

“With this analysis we are able to show not just that retrofitting Chicago’s older homes is possible, but that it has huge savings potential,” said Rachel Scheu, Elevate’s principal director of research and innovation. “The Community Area Profiles tell us where we should start making these upgrades.” 

Energy upgrades help create homes that are resilient in the face of climate change and affordable to the homeowners. Prioritizing these upgrades in communities that have received less investment ensures that the benefits of climate action reach those who need them most.  

Learn more about how the analysis was completed in the publication from Elevate and the National Renewable Energy Lab, “Chicago Area Community Energy Profiles. 

About Elevate

Elevate is a nonprofit organization that works nationally and is headquartered in Chicago. Elevate designs and implements programs to ensure that everyone has clean and affordable heat, power, and water in their homes and communities —no matter who they are or where they live.

Media Contacts

Emma Baumgart,, 312-967-2968

Stay Connected

Join our email list for news and updates.

Let's work